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Why are venue rules for GA lines not being enforced?


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25 minutes ago, vertigojds said:

U2gigs.com just posted a twitter picture of someone in line at Philadelphia and a sign for fan "rules".  All you have to do is show up for 1 minute this morning and 1 minute this night, and then you can show up tomorrow and be ahead of everyone else.  I don't see how that's right.  Someone willing to show up at 5am tomorrow morning and wait all day should not be told that hundreds of people who aren't there waiting are magically ahead of them.

I really wish someone would put a stop to this nonsense.

its far from nonsense. This is an organic thing that has developed over many years, many tours. Lots of trust involved and lots of working with venues, security etc. 

Its not compulsory, and its not random, its a great thing in my opinion but its not official, and I get your point on that. Hopefully we might get some folks who have helped out organising the GA lines over the years, but maybe not as they may not want to get lambasted or criticised overly for basically trying to help other fans out. 

Its a valid discussion, but my own view is this : If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

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For almost every show this tour (if not all), the venue hosting the show has posted rules for the show, and made them publicly available on their website, through social media, etc.  These always incl

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22 minutes ago, bigwave said:

its far from nonsense. This is an organic thing that has developed over many years, many tours. Lots of trust involved and lots of working with venues, security etc. 

Its not compulsory, and its not random, its a great thing in my opinion but its not official, and I get your point on that. Hopefully we might get some folks who have helped out organising the GA lines over the years, but maybe not as they may not want to get lambasted or criticised overly for basically trying to help other fans out. 

Its a valid discussion, but my own view is this : If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

It is broke.

I have been involved in GA lines that were fairly run and that were a benefit to all that were there.  This isn't that. 

When someone can show up at the venue 2 days before the show, say "I'm first" and then go home for two days, show up a couple hours before the show, and cut in front of hundreds or thousands of people who have been patiently waiting and never left, something is very wrong.

I saw all eight of the U2 shows at Madison Square Garden on the I&E tour.  Each time, I showed up, I got in line and waited all day, and then right before the doors open, had tons of people cutting in front of me who weren't there all day.  And each time, the excuse was the same.  They stopped by last night and put their name on a list.  There were many times when there was no one there with a list, or when the person holding the list would say no names could be added to it.  In other words, "My friends are in front and don't have to wait, but you do."

That makes no sense.

Lists are great to keep the line orderly.  Lists are great so there's no dispute over who showed up in which order.  Lists are great when a line needs to move from one physical location to another.  Lists are great when it comes to letting someone step away for a moment to use the bathroom or grab a sandwich or have a cigarette. 

Lists are not great when it becomes a way for people to cut in front of other people.

If you're not willing to wait outside of the venue overnight for the show, you shouldn't get to cut in front of people who are.  If you're not willing to stand in line all day, you shouldn't get to cut in front of people who did. 

I'm going to the show tomorrow.  I don't live in Philadelphia so I will be traveling from out of town.  I will arrive in the morning, get in line, and stay in line all day.  And then, at some point before the doors open, someone is going to cut in front of me and say they were first because they stopped by for one minute two days ago.  That's not fairness.  That's a select few people rigging the system.

In my experience, this trust has broken down over the years.  A select few people manipulate the system so they can always be at the front with the least amount of waiting.  In my experience, some of these people are generally rude to other fans and unpleasant to be around.  U2 acknowledged that this was a problem in 2005 by randomizing the entry into the area closest to the stage, so that these people could no longer take advantage.  I sincerely wish that U2 would return to a similar system, because it's once again a problem.

As I've said multiple times, I am 100% in favor of giving out numbers and making lists for the sake of keeping the line orderly.  I'm in favor of allowing people to step out of line to use the bathroom, or to grab a quick snack, or stretch their legs.  But it's a general admission LINE, and the current system has a select few evading the whole idea of actually waiting in line.

Someone who is not willing to wait there all day should not get to stand ahead of someone who is and who did.

Edited by vertigojds
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Bigwave, I get that this started from a good place.  I get that many people aren't trying to cheat other fans out of a good experience.  But I believe that despite the best intentions of some, this has gotten way out of hand.

Most of these stadium shows hold about 10,000 people on the floor - so that's 10,000 general admission tickets per show.  It's not right that there's one secret set of rules that applies to about 100 of those people, and a second publicized set of rules that applies to the other 9,900 people.

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For what it's worth, one of my very best experiences at any concert ever were the two U2 shows in Providence on October 30th and 31st in 2001.  There was a line and a list, but people actually waited in line.  There was a real sense of community on those two days, and if we had turned the place into "Camp U2."  The list wasn't run by one specific person; people took turns all day and night so that it didn't fall on one person's shoulders.  With the list, people were free to step away for a little bit, but no one abused the privilege.  If someone was running to get coffee, for instance, they might ask their neighbors if they wanted any, and instead of bringing back a single cup, brought a whole large container to share instead.  A group of us when to the mall food court next door and brought back burgers for other people who were sticking around.  I might not have spent 100% of my day standing in perfect chronological alignment, but everyone was on the venue property and generally in the same area.  A couple hours before the doors opened, the line ended up taking a more orderly shape.

This was very different from U2 in New York City in 2015.  There was no sense of community in the line; there wasn't even really a line.  There were the suckers like myself who got stuck waiting all day because, silly us, we followed the directions that the venue and band and ticketmaster sent out, and then the magical list people who didn't and who just showed up at 5pm each night and said they were in front.  The people running the list would tell fans arriving the day of that they had to stay put all day; meanwhile, since the list runners were on the "list" they could come and go as they pleased.  I had to stand in the sun all day without being allowed to leave (not that I'm complaining; that's what I thought I was signing up for); meanwhile, other people hung out in their air conditioned hotel rooms or at restaurants or at the movies until just before the doors opened.  Two sets of rules.

If everyone was as nice and friendly as they were in Providence more than fifteen years ago, I'd be happy to do that again.  But it seems like it's more of the 2015 experience, and that's something that's really not fair to the vast majority of fans.

Edited by vertigojds
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Haven't been to a concert on this tour yet,  but from what I can see online when following it is that the check-in on show day has been early like 6 /7 am and you MUST turn up and stay all day. 

This means no-one is actually rocking up later and pushing in ahead of those who turn up later as they should already be there.

Unfortunately it doesn't help those that work etc  who are unable to checkin in 2 days earlier for a short time.

The GA line for Philly was started whilst the latest concert was still going. I don't like that. If you had plans to fly to Philly and turn up at GA early in the hope of getting a place on the rail then it is impossible as the line was started 2 days earlier! 

Not sure what the solution is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 6/17/2017 at 9:00 AM, vertigojds said:

Ultimately, I just don't think it's right that there's a scenario where the following happens:

-Venue says no one can show up before 8am
-I show up just before 8am
-I'm only one of a handful of people there, but I'm told that there are actually hundreds of people in front of me, even though they're not there
-I wait in line all day
-People keep showing up and saying they had stopped by earlier, so actually they're in front of me
-Even though I showed up at the time specified by the venue and was only one of a handful of people there and didn't leave after arriving, I'm actually #500 to enter.

That's not right. 

Taking names and numbering people makes sense.  Allowing them frequent and lengthy absences from the premises does not.  I'm totally cool with getting to know your neighbors, and having them hold your spot so you can use the bathroom, smoke a cigarette, or pick up some food to bring back to the line.

But that won't happen. If it's officially an 8am arrival time on premises, these guys will have a very early check-in, at 6-7am. Then right at 8am this line will be moved on to the premises (sometimes even with a police escort). They'll all be there at 8am, they won't be arriving later, in dribs and drabs, & pushing in front of you. They may come & go at a later time. If they're gone for long periods, that's just plain rude. But nothing to do with the list, it will happen with any line if people are rude & inconsiderate! 

You've arrived at 8am. Have these people on the list put in more time than you. Yes, though not that much. They've had an early morning check-in before 8am, & check-ins I'm previous days.

The problems I see with the line are, if people don't know it's there. There's got to be plenty of posts on social media to inform people when & where check-ins will be. Plus if dishonest people are running the line, & putting friends at the top of the list. Luckily I've also met some very nice, honest people running the line, & putting a fair bit of effort communicating with security, to keep the queuing process fair & safe. 

As I've said previously, the line (or a lottery) is a necessary evil. You can't expect 100's of people, who arrive at 8am, to organize themselves into a line. There will be chaos! 

Edited by ddarroch
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22 minutes ago, bestia said:

The GA line for Philly was started whilst the latest concert was still going. I don't like that. If you had plans to fly to Philly and turn up at GA early in the hope of getting a place on the rail then it is impossible as the line was started 2 days earlier! 

Not sure what the solution is.

The only good thing here is at least there will be someone different at the start of the line for Philly, claiming the prime spots. 

Also happens in multiple nights. People are inside enjoying night 1. Other people are outside, lining up for night 2. At least we'll get different people in the prime spots for night 2.

Edited by ddarroch
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7 minutes ago, bestia said:

Haven't been to a concert on this tour yet,  but from what I can see online when following it is that the check-in on show day has been early like 6 /7 am and you MUST turn up and stay all day. 

I truly hope it works out that way.  For the 2015 tour shows that I saw, even though that's what the unofficial rule was, in practice, the list people came and went and didn't hang around all day.  There was basically no one there all morning or all afternoon, and then at 5 o'clock they'd all show up.  If people are required to stay there the day of the show, that at least brings some element of fairness to it, but I still think the unofficial line beginning is problematic.

 

9 minutes ago, bestia said:

Unfortunately it doesn't help those that work etc  who are unable to checkin in 2 days earlier for a short time.

The GA line for Philly was started whilst the latest concert was still going. I don't like that. If you had plans to fly to Philly and turn up at GA early in the hope of getting a place on the rail then it is impossible as the line was started 2 days earlier! 

Exactly.  All of my plans for my trip to Philly were set on information officially released by the venue and ticketmaster.  It's not right that I've made my plans and am following their directions exactly as they've specified and will be penalized for doing so.

 

5 minutes ago, ddarroch said:

As I've said previously, the line (or a lottery) is a necessary evil. You can't expect 100's of people, who arrive at 8am, to organize themselves into a line. There will be chaos! 

I would absolutely be in favor of a lottery, similar to the system that Bruce Springsteen uses.  On Springsteen's last tour, everyone arriving before 4pm had an equal chance to be selected as the first person in line.  There was absolutely no reason to camp out because it made no difference to your chances of being in first.  Everyone arriving after 4pm would be placed into secondary line that was "first come, first serve."  Once the lottery was run and all people from that line were let in, then people in the second line were let in.  One night I was close to the winner number, other nights I wasn't, but for all shows, both the line process and entry process were orderly, and I got amazingly good spots, even on the nights that I "lost".  Everyone who could get there before 4pm had an equal chance of being first in line, and even people who didn't win still got great spots.  People arriving at 4pm still got good spaces.  This is a much fairer system - it doesn't give an advantage to a select minority of wealthy fans who can afford to take days off from work, or stay at the hotels on the property of venues otherwise closed to the public so they can say they were there "first", etc. 

At least, with the stage being so high on this particular tour, being in the very front row center isn't really as valuable as it was for shows past.  It looks like if you're in the very front, you can't really see much comfortable, and you're certainly not in a position to be making direct eye contact with the band members.  So that does take some of the sting out of these unfair systems - they're doing all of this manipulation of the system to get spots that aren't really that great.

19 minutes ago, bestia said:

Not sure what the solution is.

I know this won't be popular and isn't likely to be enforced, but I think when the venue officially opens for business, at 9am or whatever the posted time was, all of the people who showed up in advance, breaking the clearly written rules and instructions, should be placed in the back of the line.  Let the people who arrive at the allowed time in line first, and only after each and every person who showed up at 8 and waited at the established spot have been counted should the people who did the cheat line be allowed to join.  That would send a clear message that people who violate the rules wouldn't be rewarded for doing so.

If U2 want to adopt the check-in system as the official way of doing things, then fine, I will live with that.  Some venues do that, regardless of the overall band policy.  For instance, the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston will usually hand out numbered wristbands the day before and day of the event for general admission, and tell people to come back at 5pm.  But it's not a secret; it's publicized on their website, so everyone with a ticket to the show has that information and can decide what they want to do.  What I really object to is that the band and venue - through their official websites, official social media channels, and other official communications, sets one set of rules and communicates those to the 60,000 people who bought tickets.  Then, acting on their own, a small handful of people decide to make a new set of rules, which go unnoticed and unpublicized, and which are contradicted by the official rules given out to everyone, and then everyone is made to follow these unofficial rules that they didn't know about and had no way of knowing about.  There cannot be two sets of rules.  I paid my money and bought my ticket the same as everyone else - the rules should apply just as equally to me as it does to them.

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24 minutes ago, ddarroch said:

But that won't happen. If it's officially an 8am arrival time on premises, these guys will have a very early check-in, at 6-7am. Then right at 8am this line will be moved on to the premises (sometimes even with a police escort. They'll all be there at 8am

But still.. if i show up at 5am and wait from 5am until the doors open at 5pm, I don't see how it's right that someone who showed up for 1 minute two days before, and then came back at 7am, gets to be in front of me.  They were not waiting in line.  At some point, shouldn't people who are waiting in a line have to, you know, wait in the line?

As I've said, I'm all in favor of people temporarily leaving the line to use the restroom, to get food, to stretch their legs, catch a break, make a phone call, grab a smoke, whatever.  But when you're putting your name on a list and then coming back two days later, you really haven't been waiting in line for two days, and don't deserve to be ahead of people who actually did wait.  There's absolutely no official policy at any venue on this tour allowing it; the official policies are the opposite.  So again, we're back to my main objection - all concertgoers are given one set of concrete rules, and then a few select people make up a new set of rules that allows them to be in front as if they had waited for days without actually waiting, but since these new rules aren't publicized, the vast majority of attendees do not get a chance to make their plans according to them. 

There cannot be two sets of rules for people holding the same type of ticket.

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18 hours ago, vertigojds said:

I saw all eight of the U2 shows at Madison Square Garden on the I&E tour.  Each time, I showed up, I got in line and waited all day, and then right before the doors open, had tons of people cutting in front of me who weren't there all day.  And each time, the excuse was the same.  They stopped by last night and put their name on a list.  There were many times when there was no one there with a list, or when the person holding the list would say no names could be added to it.  In other words, "My friends are in front and don't have to wait, but you do."

 

I was at 2 of the Madison Square Garden shows and I don't recall it happening like that at all. We did get numbers the day before, we did have to do the check ins at 11pm the night before and everyone had to show back up at 5:30am or they got marked off the list.  At that point, people were supposed to stay.  There was coming and going because people trusted people to go get food and/or showers.  Where I was, people were very mindful to ask if it was ok if they left for a bit. Then at 2, everyone had to stay for the duration, with the exception of a quick bathroom break in Penn State. Numbers were checked, etc. I would say that there is no fault to the person who starts the line.  I recommend that next time you do GA, get to know the people around you and I'm sure if you asked if you could go for a bit for a rest or get out of the weather, they would be totally cool with it.  That is what I have experienced every time I've done GA.

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